What if our imperious voices where silenced over the deafening sounds of muted howls?

What if our muted howls wept a trivial nothing?

And the wave of ignorance flushed right through destroying everything in its midst whilst the silent howls were left to echo in an empty void?

What if the very thing that distinguished a man from an animal, was grabbed, seized and clenched away?

What if that was our voice?

You may have never thought twice about the words which you speak so proudly and clearly. You may not even feel privileged to be able to share thoughts and feelings, opinions and facts, so honest and true, in just a click of a button. For some it is the reality but for our ancestors a dream to come true - the 3rd of May marks World Press Freedom Day.

World Press Freedom day was declared as an international holiday by the United Nations. The day was made in order to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and as a reminder to governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  World Press Freedom day also marks the anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration, a declaration consisting of free press principles compiled by African newspaper journalists who were deprived of their freedom of speech in 1991.

UNESCO states that World Press Day should be ‘a reminder that in dozens of countries around the world, publications are censored, fined, suspended and closed down, while journalists, editors and publishers are harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered.’

However some people believe that the Freedom of Speech in the Press can be taken for granted, and present audiences with false information and and can be discriminative to the minorities. Sajida Yasmin believes, “Freedom of speech is a human right that everyone should possess, yet some people may take advantage of this right and offend others in the process. People must be careful of how they use their freedom of speech and shouldn’t abuse the power of their words.’ 

Use your voice and speak for those who have been silenced by their oppressors. 

Nazeerah Patel,

Lister Community School.